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A SPECIAL ANNEX NEWSFLASH
Updated 1/08/04, 12:33 p.m. MST (adds "Five Most and Least Likely")
Annex Research's Coverage of Industry News and Trends
IT Services Dominate
Five Most and Least Likely Forecasts for 2004: What's in a Vowel? Perhaps Nothing Less Than the Presidency
PHOENIX, Jan 7 - The following is a statistical summary of all Annex Bulletins and Newsflashes published in 2003:
As you can see, the IT services continued to dominate our coverage of industry news and trends (44%). The IBM corporate and financial matters accounted for about one-third of the total Annex Bulletins and Newsflashes. The global and industry (long-term) trends represented just under one-quarter of our total coverage.
By the way, 2004 is the 20th year of Annex Bulletins, and the 26th year of our Annex's corporate existence.
Every once in a while, clients ask us to come up with some "off the wall," head-turning forecasts. So here are our five most and least likely scenarios for 2004, some serious, some tongue-in-cheek. You figure out which is which...
Five Most Likely...
1. IBM stock breaks through $100 (the last time it closed above $100 was on April 2, 2002).
2. Michael Jordan (of EDS, not Chicago Bulls) doesn't last the year as the EDS CEO, as the company's sales turn from bad to worse.
3. George W. Bush is reelected President after promising another tax cut for the rich.
4. The U.S. economy sets new records - in unemployment and job exports.
5. Dow Jones Industrials average rises over 11,000 again.
Five Least Likely...
1. Michael Jordan (of EDS, not Chicago Bulls) hires someone who is not his pal for a senior EDS executive position, or promotes a person from within EDS.
2. IBM Global Services and HP Services are spun off into independent companies.
3. Special presidential appointee, James Baker, fresh from successful negotiations with debtor-nations about the Iraq debt forgiveness, also manages to convince the international bankers to forsake the U.S. national debt (now estimated at $7 trillion) at some point in the future. The bankers also agree to divert $115 billion in related 2004 interest expense payments to rebuilding of Iraq's economy.
4. U.S. pulls out of Iraq, but takes Saddam with it to help look for weapons of mass destruction at home.
5. A Democrat with more than two vowels in his name is elected President of the United States. What's in a vowel? Perhaps nothing less than the presidency...
"Keep it simple, stupid" seems to be the overriding prerequisite for a Potus (President of the United States). The country can't have a head of state whose name is too difficult for most Americans to spell (especially the illiterates). Besides, just look at what happened the last time a candidate (and a Democrat to boot) with more than two vowels was elected President [Kennedy (3-7)]. Or the time before that [Roosevelt (3-9)]. Both died while in office. We don't want that to happen again, do we?
Nor did the other two "multi-voweled" Democrats fare much better as presidents. Carter (2-6) was dethroned by galloping inflation and the Iranian hostage crises, Johnson (2-7) by Vietnam.
As for Clinton (2-7), well… he is the exception that proves the rule. And validates Arnold Bennett: “Journalists (and politicians, RSD) say a thing they know isn't true in the hope that, if they keep saying it long enough, it will become true."
What do those numbers in brackets mean, you may be wondering? Well, the first depicts the number of vowels (phonetically speaking) in a president’s name; the second the number of characters.
So applying our exclusive “Potus linguisticus” methodology to the presidential election tealeaves reading, we can safely predict that only Dean (1-4) has a chance of winning against Bush (1-4). The rest of the leading Democratic presidential candidates would stack up on our “vowelmeter” as follows:
Clark (1-5), Kerry (2-5), Edwards (2-7), Gephardt (2-8), Sharpton (2-8), Kucinich (3-8), Lieberman (3-9), etc.
Oddly enough, isn’t that roughly how they rank in the polls, too?
So never mind the "platform," or the "issues," or the "strategy." Don't "watch their lips." Watch their vowels. And characters, too.
By the way, nor is the "keep it simple, stupid"-prerequisite for the highest office another solely American quirk. Take a look at some other heads of state... Hu (1-2), Blair (1-5), Putin (2-5), Chirac (2-6), Sharon (2-6)...
No wonder Saddam Hussein's (2-7), and especially Slobodan Milosevic's (4-9), political careers fared so poorly. They were doomed from the moment of birth. So you can just imagine what's ahead for a politician like Schwarzenegger (4-14). Stand by for the next sequel titled, "Terminator terminated by Hu?"
Therefore, if someone tells you dismissively, “oh, what’s in a vowel,” just say: “Perhaps nothing less than the presidency. Either lose a vowel, or throw in a towel. Too many vowels and you’re out. Or down and out, as Hussein and Milosevic found out."
Happy bargain hunting!